Collection Online

Badger Creek, Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, fishing scene
(c. 1877)

albumen silver photograph
18.4 × 27.2 cm (image)
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs Beryl M. Curl, 1979
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

In the second half of the nineteenth century, commercial photographers were catering to a popular demand for images of Aboriginal people. In 1877, Frederick Kruger was commissioned by the Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines to photograph at the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve that had recently been established near Healesville. Dispossessed of their land by the Europeans, people from the Kulin nation relocated on this customary site to re-establish a home.

While some considered Melbourne ‘unpicturesque’, Kruger created images of a domesticated landscape for his city-bound clients that was idyllic, safe and relatively accessible. In addition to the traditional topographical role of these photographs, Kruger created images that increased viewers’ appreciation of the scenic Australian landscape and sold his views either by the sheet or in albums, mounted with an image caption.